Sir Robert Lawrence
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American Families

The American Historical Society, Inc. New York

p 217 -211


Arms - Argent, a cross raguly gules

Crest - a demi-turbot argent tail upwards (Burke’s "General Armory.")

The family name Lawrence took its origin in the christen name Laurence , that in its turn owning its popularity to St. Laurence, or Laurentius, martyred in A. D. 238. The name was first introduced to England and became famous as the name of the monk Laurence, who accompanied St. Augustine on his mission for the Christianization of the Saxons sent by Pope Gregory. After the death of St. Augustine or Austin, the monk Laurence became the second archbishop of Canterbury, dying in A. D. 619. The name occurs frequently in old records: John, filius Laurence is in the Hundred Rolls of county Lincoln, A. D. 1723, and Gilbert Laurance in those of County Cambridge.

Sir Robert Lawrence, of Lancashire, England, born about 1150, attended Richard Coeur de Lion on the Crusade in the Holy Land and so greatly distinguished himself at the siege of Acre, that he was knighted by King Richard as "Sir Robert Lawrence of Ashton Hall," and granted in 1191, his arms: Argent, a cross raguly gules.


American Ancestry Vol II pp 71-2

John Lawrence born in Wisset, Suffolk, England, and baptized October 8, 1609, came to America, married Elizabeth & settled in Watertown, Mass., before 1635. The family line has been traced as follows: John the first American ancestor, was the son of Henry of Wisset, Suffolk, Eng. (m. Mary); son of John of Wisset, de 1607 (m. Johan); son of John of Wisset, d. 1590 (m. Agnes); son of John of Riverburgh, d. after 1556 (m. Elizabeth); son of Robert; son of John of Rivenburg (m. Margery), made his will July 10, 1504, the year of his death; son of Thomas of Rivenburgh, Holton, Wisset and South Elmham; son of John of Agercorft, d. 1461; son of Nicholas; son of Sir Robert of Ashton Hall, son of Sir Robert of Ashton Hall (m. Margaret Holden of Lancashire); son of John d 1630 (m. Elizabeth Holt); son of John of Ashton Hall (m. Margaret, dau of Walter Chesford); son of James of Ashton Hall (m. 1252 Matilda de Washington, dau of John de Washington); son of Robert of Ashton Hall (m. a daughter of James Trafford of Lancashire); son of ROBERT of Ashton Hall; son of Robert Lawrence of Lancashire, England, born probably as early as 1150, who attended King Richard Coeur de Lion to the war of the Crusades in the Holy Land, and was knighted at the siege of Acre "Sir Robert of Ashton Hall" and obtained for his arms "Argent, a crown raguly gules, A.D. 1191." The line of ancestry being thus traced in sixteen generations to the American ancestor, and in twenty-three t the present living descendants. See Lawrence genealogy, Boston, 1869.

[Note by Dianne:  the above indicated that the daughter of JAMES TRAFFORD married the 3rd Robert of Ashton Hall instead of the 2nd]


The Genealogy of the Family of John Lawrence of Wissett, in Suffolk, England, and of Watertown and Groton, Massachusetts By Rev. John Lawrence, Jr. (1869)

The Ancestral Lineage, ascertained and arranged by H. G. Somersby, Esq., under the countenance of Hon. Abbott Lawrence while in England, is given as in 1857, there being no reason for a change in this respect.

Pages 19-20 The lineal ancestry of this stock of Lawrences in America, now found quite numerous in New England and other parts of the country, has been at length very satisfactorily ascertained. As traced and determined, it originates in and is derived from one Robert Lawrence, of Lancashire, England; born, probably, as early as A.D. 1150, and the ancestor of the earliest families of the name in Eangland. Attending his sovereign, richard Coeur de Lion, to the war of the Crusades in the Holy Land, he so distinguished himself in the siege of Acre, that he was knighted "Sir Robert of Ashton Hall," and obtained for his arms, "Argent, a cross raguly gules," A.S. 1191.

The arms of Sir Robert of Ashton Hall, conferred by Richard I., namely, "Argent, a cross raguly gules," were also those of the Lancashire branch generally; also, "He beareth Ermine, a cross raguled gules, by the name of Lawrence, of Lancashire;" thus: "Ragules" is a term used "to represent the rough-hewn stems of a tree from which the branches have been rudelylopped."

Proceeding with the sucessive generations of ancestry, we have, in order of time, the first, -- Sir ROBERT LAWRENCE, of Ashton Hall.